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New PWSA director withdraws from position; employment history in question

PITTSBURGH — K. Charles Griffin, the recently hired head of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, has withdrawn from the position amid questions surrounding his previous work experience.

The PWSA voted just last week to hire Griffin, who is currently a county administrator for King William County, near Richmond, Virginia.

According to TribLIVE, questions arose one day after the PWSA hired Griffin. At that time, public documents indicated that he was fired from a previous post as general manager of the Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority. However, PWSA officials said Griffin had told them he had resigned.

PWSA officials said in a statement on Tuesday: “The PWSA board has accepted the withdrawal of Dr. K. Charles Griffin to become its next executive director. The board is presently evaluating options for next steps in the search for a candidate to fill the position on a permanent basis."

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto called on full accountability from the PWSA board for its hiring process.

"Certainly, there could have been more vetting done. A Google search can show the questions about one of the past employment. I appreciate Mr. Griffin choosing to step aside at this time,” Peduto said.

Peduto said he hopes the board will choose a candidate who is already vetted as its next leader.

"I try not to interfere with the authorities; I try to give the board as much autonomy as I can. But when mistakes like this happen, we have to be involved,” he said.

This is the latest in a series of problems at the PWSA. Previously, Target 11 investigations exposed skyrocketing water bills for some customers while hundreds of other customers received no bills for six months. Those investigations, in part, led to the resignation of the previous director.

TribLIVE reported that

Interim

Executive David Donahoe said last week that Griffin's firing was never mentioned in interviews, and it did not turn up in reference and background checks. In the meantime, Donahoe will continue at the helm until Aug. 31.

Stay with Channel 11 News and WPXI.com for continuing coverage.

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